AP Comparative Government Vocabulary
Vocab Terms For Final
Terms in this set (160)
the concept that public officials serve at the pleasure of the citizens
countries that have well established democratic governments and a high level of economic development
feel that the government should not exist and that humans should live in a free system of natural selection and natural communities with no regulation or leadership system; Anarchism—like communism believes that private property and capitalism create inequality; like liberalism, Anarchism places a high value on individual political freedoms
groups that support political contenders or become contenders themselves
a system of governance in which political authority is shared between a central government and regional or state governments, but where some sub-national units in the federal system have greater or lesser powers than others.
A system of power of rule in which power depends on popular legitimacy but on the coercive force of political authorities; a regime where decisions are made by political elites without much input from citizens
the legal right to exercise power
a territorial unit in the Soviet Union that was a constituent unit of the union republic within which it was located.
two houses; a legislative assembly with two houses/parts
used to describe owners of factories and other means of production in the "The Communist Manifesto"
a system of public administration; a hierarchical organization charged with carrying out the decisions of those who have political authority
an important collective decision-making body; contains leaders ("ministers" or "secretaries") from all of the major departments of the executive branch
system of production based on private ownership and free markets
a group of producers that, individually are unable to dominate a market, but in collaboration with one another can; can control prices by limiting supplies (ex. OPEC—Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries)
someone who exerts power/authority based on their dynamic personality
government workers, hired by the government to prepare and carry out legislation
refers to the space occupied by voluntary associations outside the state, for example, professional associations, trade unions, student and women's groups, religious bodies and other voluntary association groups; the organization outside of the state that helps citizens define and advance their own interests
when national, ethnic, linguistic, and religious systematically affect political allegiances and policies,
occur when the various factors that make up an individual's social identity tend to pull that person in different political directions; same groups of people find themselves on an opposite side of a different issue; if groups share a common interest on one issue are likely to be on opposite sides of a different issue
when the same groups of people are against each other on many issues; they pit the same people against each other on many different issues
occur when the factors composing one's social identity tend to pull in the same political direction
when a political system is affected by more than one such cleavage; it matters whether the different cleavages are cumulative or cross-cutting
divisions theoretically outside the realm of politics (religion, ethnic groups, race, social and economic classes) that interact with the political system and have a tremendous impact on policy-making
an informal aspect of policy making in which a powerful patron offers resources such as land, contracts, protection, or jobs in return for the support and services of lower-status and less powerful clients; the state provides benefits to groups of its political supporters
a process undertaken in the Soviet Union under Stalin in the late 1920's and the early 1930's and in china under Mao in the 1950's, by which agricultural land was removed from private ownership and organized into large state and collective farms.
examines political realities in countries all over the world. It looks at many ways governments operate and the ways people behave in political life
State-planned production; a form of socialism in which government decisions rather than market mechanisms (such as supply and demand) are the major influences in determining the nation's economic direction; also called central planning; socialist economies in which centralized planning and state ownership are guiding economic principles
a system of social organization based on the common ownership and coordination of production; a theory of government developed by Karl Marx in the 19th century in which the communist party controls everything from the government to the economy to social life; generally values equality over freedom
book written by Karl Marx in 1848 that said that the gap between rich and poor in the capitalist countries would grow so big that the proletariat would revolt against the bourgeoisie (owning class) and establish a new world in which social class would disappear because would disappear because ownership of private property would be banned
the ability to produce a particular good or service more efficiently than another countries ability to produce the same thing
When Western powers attach strings (conditions) to their assistance in global affairs
spreads the power among many sub-units (such as states) and has a weak central government (ex. United States under the Articles of Confederation)
Conflictual Political Culture
the citizens are sharply divided, often on both the legitimacy of the regime and solutions to major problems
Consensual Political Culture
citizens tend to agree on the appropriate means of making political decisions and to agree on the major problems facing the society and how to solve them
widespread, general agreement
a belief that is much less supportive of change in general that are radicalism and liberalism
Basic rules concerning decision making, rights, and the distribution of authority in a political system; highest, most authoritative law
when the monarch is kept in check by a constitution or rule of law
allocation of power throughout various political, economic, and social institutions; members of the public are given beneficial relationship with the state/government; examples: corporatism, clientelism, rent seeking and/or personality cult
an arrangement in which government officials interact with people/groups outside the government before the set policy; citizen participation is channeled into state-sanctioned groups
these replace the leadership of a country with new leaders; leaders are removed and replaced by force; a sudden and decisive action in politics, especially one resulting in a change of government illegally or by force
too many goods chasing too little money
a regime that bases its authority on the will of the people
a system of political organization developed by V.I. Lenin and practiced with modifications, by all communist-party states; rule by a few for the good of the many; type of government Lenin established in Russia in 1917
the transition from non-democratic to democratic forms of government; spread of representative government
holds that economic development of many countries in the world is blocked by the fact that industrialized nations exploit underdeveloped nations
delegation of decision making to lower (more local) levels of government
citizens may be able to share directly in debating, deciding, and implementing public policy; usually found in small political systems; a form of democracy where individuals have immediate say over many decisions that the government makes
personal and corporate income taxes and taxes on capital gains and wealth
when the government gives away; distributes throughout society
each member of the legislative chamber or court has the same voting power
ways to identify and select people for future leadership positions
factual statements and statistics that allow political scientists to study different countries
a form of group identification or distinctiveness often based on a more common biological ancestry in the distant past; more accurately, it is typically based on the belief in such a common biological ancestry the specific attributes that make one group of people culturally different from others; examples: customs, language, religion, region and history
a political ideology that rejects individual freedom and equality and accepts the idea that people and groups exist in degrees of inferiority and superiority; like communism, is hostile to the idea of individual freedom but rejects the notion of equality
A system of governance in which political authority is shared between the national government and regional or state governments. The powers of each level of government are usually specified in a federal constitution; a regime in which public authority is shared by national and local governments
an electoral system where the constituencies are divided into single-member districts in which candidates compete for a single representative's seat; the winner does not need a majority to win, but simply needs to get more votes than anyone else
divisions based on ethnic or cultural identity
International commerce that is relatively unregulated or constrained by tariffs (special payments imposed by governments on exports or imports).
Fusion of Power
A constitutional principle that merges the authority of branches of government, in contrast to the principle of separation of powers. In Britain, for example, Parliament is the supreme legislative, executive, and judicial authority. The fusion of legislature and executive is also expressed in the function and personnel of the cabinet; regime in which all or most authority is by one element of government
the most commonly used measure of economic inequality in which perfect equality is scored 0 and perfect inequality is 100
refers to the growing interconnectedness of governments, non-state actors, and populations throughout the world through a variety of political, economic, technological, cultural, environmental, and other interactions; increasing worldwide interdependence; phenomenon where international forces shape politics in the context of rapidly expanding and intensifying set of links among states, societies, and economies
a reference to the leadership and institutions that make policy decisions for a country
Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
the total value of goods and services produced by a country's residents in a given year; GDP per capita divides the Gross Domestic Product by total population
Head of Government
deals with the everyday tasks of running the state, and usually directs the activities of other members of the executive branch
Head of State
a role that symbolizes and represents the people, both nationally and internationally, and may or may not have any real policy-making power
A state that can control the pattern of alliances and terms of the international order, and often shapes domestic political developments in countries throughout the world.
inflation that is more than 50% a month for more than 2 months in a row; occurs when government lacks tax revenues needed to carry out basic tasks
a coherent set of ideas and guidelines that defines what the nature and role of government should be and prescribes the main goals the people should pursue through political action
tends to restrict civil freedoms; democracies that have regular, free, and fair competitive elections but lack the other elements of a liberal democracy; retains the basic structures of a democracy but does not protect civil liberties
policy to encourage domestic production of goods and services
a term used to describe the British style of colonialism in Nigeria and India which local traditional rulers and political structures were used to help support the colonial governing structure.
include sales and value-added taxes, excise taxes, and custom duties
too much money chasing after too few goods; prices begin to rise and money loses its value
a term used in relation to Russia to refer to the transformation of formerly state owned enterprises into joint-stock countries or private enterprises in which majority control of the enterprise is in the hands of employees and/or managers of that enterprise.
Interest aggregators meant to enforce policies set by higher authorities or negotiate between different groups (ex. military or bureaucratic factions)
stable, long lasting organizations that help to turn political ideas into policy (examples: bureaucracies, legislatures, judicial systems, and political parties)
activity in which the political demands of individuals and groups are combined into policy programs; becomes powerful when backed by votes, money, seats in legislature, armed force, or media access
methods by which citizens express their opinions and desires to the government
concerns the relations between countries
"struggle" all though often used to mean armed struggle against unbelievers, it can also mean spiritual struggle for more self-improvement.
the mechanism that allows courts to review laws and executive actions for their constitutionality
an organization of wage earners or salaried employees for mutual aid and protection and for dealing collectively with employers
the economy should be "allowed to do" what it wishes; state should only intervene to defend public when crises arises
a belief by powerful groups and the broad citizenry that a state exercises rightful authority; belief that a regime is proper or a government has the right to exercise public authority
tends to emphasize the freedom of the individual (ex. intellectual and religious freedoms, freedom of speech, etc.); democracies that display civil liberties, rule of law, neutrality of the judiciary, open civil society, and civilian control of the military
a political ideology that places emphasis on individual political and economic freedom; a type of change that supports reform and gradual change rather than revolution; emphasis on individual freedoms over collective equality and on power of markets over state
Individuals who apply the theory of natural rights to all; Their problem with government is that it denies these natural rights as it takes on more jobs/roles in the community
Majoritarian Two Party Systems
Systems dominated by mainly two parties and that have election laws that give legislative control to one of the two parties
shares Marx's vision of equality and cooperation, but also emphasizes Mao Zedong's belief in preserving China's peasant-based society
an economy that allocates resources through the decentralized decisions of many firms and households as the interact in markets for goods and services
a strategy of economic transformation embraced by the Yeltsin government in Russia and the Deng government in china that involves reducing the role of the state in managing the economy and increasing the role of market forces.
variation of communism based on the ideas of Karl Marx
variation of communism based on the ideas of Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin
the institution of military dominates politics (ex. Nigeria under military rule of Babangida and Abacha)
when the ruler ascends to the throne via heredity
exclusive control of a commodity or service in a particular market; a single producer of a good or service that is able to dominate the market; can control prices by limiting supplies (ex. Microsoft)
Multinational Corporations (MNCs)
firms that produce, distribute and market goods or services in more than one country; as a result of globalization these are increasingly powerful
ensures that no single party wins a legislative majority by having combinations of parties and election laws
a group of people who identify themselves as belonging together
the sense of belonging and identity that distinguishes one nation from another
Newly Industrializing Countries (NICs)
countries that are experiencing rapid economic growth and have shown tendencies toward democratization and political and social stability
Night Watchman State
a state primarily concerned with regulation aimed at preserving law, order, and commerce and the protection of it's citizens.
a system of personal selection under which the communist party maintained control over the appointment of important officials in all spheres of social, economic, and political life; the process of filling influential jobs in the state, society, of the economy with people approved and chosen by the communist party
Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs)
a private group that seeks to influence public policy and deal with certain problems that it believes are not being adequately addressed by governments.
limit imports through methods other than taxation (examples: health and safety regulation)
One Party State
is dominated by a strong political party that relies upon a broad membership as a source of political control
Two interdependent branches in which only the legislature is elected, and the executive rises from the legislature. The head of the executive branch is the prime minister and his/her cabinet. Usually, neither branch has a fixed term, but a member of the cabinet can be voted out at any time (vote of confidence); a form of democracy where citizens vote for legislative representatives, who in turn select the leaders of the executive branch
a system of governance in which a single ruler treats the state as personal property.
an informal aspect of policy making in which a powerful patron offers resources such as land, contracts, protection, or jobs in return for support and services; relationship between powerful people seeking support and less powerful people seeking benefits
the largest number of votes received in an electoral contest
regulates much more intrusively and extracts resources more severely
public attitudes toward politics and their role within the political system; refers to the collection of political beliefs, values, practices, and institutions that the government is based on
the ability to influence political outcomes
those that hold political power in a regime
sets of political values held by individuals regarding the basic goal of government and politics; universal sets of political values regarding the fundamental goals of politics; it describes an ideal balance between freedom and equality
process by which people become participants in and leaders of political action
how individuals form their political attitudes and then, collectively, how citizens form their political culture
a set of values that emphasizes quality of life over concern with material gain which include the preservation of the environment and the promotion of health care and education
patterns of political behavior that rest on the justification that official state offices should be competed for and then utilized for the personal benefit of officeholders as well as of their support group or clients.
a form of democracy where citizens vote for legislative representatives as well as for executive branch leaders; the two branches function with a separation of power
the sale of state-owned enterprises to private companies or investors. Those who support the policy claim that private ownership is superior to government ownership because for-profit entities promote greater efficiency.
term used to describe workers and laborers; first articulated in Karl Marx's "The Communist Manifesto"
the country is divided into a few large districts and the number of legislative representatives won by a party depends on the proportion of votes it receives (ex. 10% of the votes gives a party 10% of the legislative seats); system in which parties are represented in government to the degree they are successful in winning votes
those goods, provided or secured by the state, available for society and indivisible (cannot be owned by any one individual or group); examples: national defense, roads; some goods, such as air and water quality, are essential to all of society but not easily provided by the market
authoritative decisions that governments make
Purchasing Power Parity (PPP)
a statistical tool that estimates the buying power of income across different countries by using prices in the United States as a benchmark; attempts to estimate buying power of income in each country by comparing similar costs using prices in the US as a benchmark; a mechanism that attempts to estimate the real buying power of income in each country
a situation when a government or organization takes on debt obligations at progressively higher rates of interest in order to pay off existing debt.
limit the quantity of a good coming into the country
a belief that rapid, dramatic changes need to be made in the existing society, often including the political system
a type of change that does not advocate the overthrow of basic institutions; reformers want to change some methods that political and economic leaders use to reach goals that the society generally accepts
the rules that a state sets and follows in exerting its power; these occur when a country's institutions and practices carry across time
the exercise of political control over the behavior of individuals and groups in the society; rules or orders that set boundaries of a given procedure
evolved in many advanced modern societies in response to the growing complexity of modern life
when major beliefs reassert themselves against expressions of modernity; widespread throughout the world
above-market returns to a factor of production. Pursuit of economic rents is profit seeking that takes the form of nonproductive economic activity.
the practice of political leaders who, for the purposes of remaining in positions of power, "rent" public assets to patrons who profit from those public assets; government allows its supporters to occupy positions of power in order to monopolize state benefits
Policy-making power is designated to officials that are elected through elections by the citizens; usually found in large political systems
a political system in which public officials are chosen by citizens
a type of change that implies a change at a more basic level and does not involve either a major revision or an overthrow of existing institutions
Rule of Law
states government cannot take action that has not been authorized by law and citizens can only be punished for violating existing laws; a system that attempts to protect the rights of citizens from arbitrary and abusive use of government power; it supersedes the actions and statements of individual rulers
the right of a sovereign state or an ethnic or other group that shares cultural and historical ties to live together in a given territory and in a manner they desire.
Separation of Power
An organization of political institutions within the state which the executive, legislature, and judiciary have autonomous powers and no one branch dominates the others. This is the common pattern in presidential systems, as opposed to the parliamentary systems, in which there is a fusion of powers.
Single Member District Plurality (SMDP)
"first-past-the-post" rule states that in each district, the candidate with the most votes, but not necessarily the majority, wins the election
possessing the highest level of independent legal authority
all people and groups that have power to effect change
Structural Adjustment Programs (SAP)
economic reform programs focusing on economic liberalization
organizations that go beyond national boundaries; organizations that operate above governments; NATO, the European Union, NAFTA, OPEC, the United Nations, etc.
Tacit Social Contract
an idea put forth by some western analysts that an unwritten Informal understanding existed between the population and the party/state in the post- Stalinist Soviet Union, which helped form the basis of social and political stability.
taxes on imported goods
a state run by religious authorities (ex. Iran); a rare form of government through the one that characterizes present day Iran, a leader claims to rule on behalf of God (ex. in Iran, the idea of Jurist Guardianship gives the Supreme Leader and other high-ranking clerics divine right to rule and/or interpret legislation)
"Third World" Nations
term used to describe countries that did not fit into the first two categories of the "three-world" approach and were all economically underdeveloped and deprived
feature a strong official ideology that seeks to transform aspects of the state, society, and the economy, using organizations and/or force; attempts to control all aspects of society
state management of sale of goods and services domestically AND internationally; tools of trade regulation: tariffs, quotas, non-tariff barrier
part of labor force without work buy available and seeking employment
a state characterized by instabilities and uncertainties that may render it susceptible to collapse as a coherent entity.
one house; usually refers to a legislature that consists of only 1 house/part
By contrast to the Federal systems, where power is shared between the central government and state or regional governments, in a unitary state (such as Britain) no powers are reserved constitutionally for sub-national units of government.
a political party that claims to operate in the true interests of the group or class it purports to represent, even if this understanding doesn't correspond to the expressed interests of the group itself; a group of revolutionary leaders who could provoke the revolution in non-capitalist Russia
engages itself extensively in distributive activities to provide for the health, education, employment, housing and income support of its citizens
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